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Diversity and Dancing

Lately, on a Saturday night, I’ve been thinking about diversity and dancing.

During lockdown, the Jeyaratnam-Joyners seem to have become super-fans of Strictly Come Dancing. Maybe it’s me missing wearing a suit and shiny shoes or my wife, Caroline, who’s missing dancing and live music, but we’ve become a little bit obsessed. Personally, I’m Team HRVY.

One thing we’ve found interesting, in amongst all the sequins, scoring and shimmying, is the online reaction to the various personalities on the show.

Last weekend Caroline showed me a tweet that said that the judge Motsi Mabuse was too loud. Of course, Motsi isn’t any louder than anyone else on the show (there’s a LOT of shouting, whooping and general clamour under the glitterball). Many of you will know that “too loud” is often a coded way of saying “too black.” People who experience prejudice often find that behaviours acceptable in others are turned against them as a form of aggression. You can read an interesting piece about that here.

Hypothetically – what if she was louder than everyone else?
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Still working from home? If you’re feeling adrift, you’re not alone

In recent months when I ask my coaching clients how they’re doing with working from home, they describe some highlights — I guess I sleep a bit more — and lowlights – we’re struggling for space and getting cabin fever — of the experience.

But lonely is the overtone. So how do we meet that challenge?

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Gender Employment Bias: What should we name our kids?

For a supposedly enlightened generation, gender employment bias still runs rife among many employment sectors, which leads me to the question:

If we want our daughters to succeed in male dominated industries, should we be giving them gender-neutral names?

In 1999 American Scientists, Rhea E. Steinpreis, Katie A. Anders, and Dawn Ritzke, conducted a study to determine whether employers were more biased towards hiring men over equally qualified women. They created two versions of a CV which were identical aside from the name on top; one being for Dr. Brian Miller and the other being for Dr. Karen Miller.

The researchers asked over 100 university psychologists to rate the CVs and found, rather disturbingly, that around 3 quarters of the psychologists thought Brian was hireable, whereas just under half the participants thought the same about Karen.

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